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Last Updated: 05/12/2005Shame is for Sissies
curious individual in the
Humanitarian crusader? Conflict mediator? Unsung hero in a sea of ugliness?
Far from it.
His name was Edward von Kloberg III and his motto was shame is for sissies. A man who practiced what he preached, von Kloberg contracted out his elite PR services to the baddest of the bad, the most despicable tyrants and dictators in the world among them, Saddam Hussein, Samuel K. Doe, Nicolae Ceausescu, and the military regime in Burma.
obituary goes on to detail a flamboyant lifestyle heaving with social
engagements, soirées, and dinner parties, along with an eccentric personal
fashion that included capes, steamer trunks, and the wearing of foreign medals
on his tuxedo. At the suggestion of a journalist, he added von to his name
because it sounded distinguished. He was a champion schmoozer that everyone
liked often despite themselves. Fittingly, perhaps, he committed suicide by
jumping off the wall of a castle in
It would be easy to morally lambaste a man who spent most of his career sympathizing with third-world murderers and war criminals, but the more interesting part of the obituary and some of the commentary on various websites is von Kloberg s claim that he was actually a peacemaker and worked to mediate conflict.
For instance, in an interview with the Post several months ago he said he convinced Iraqi ambassador Nizar Hamdoon to meet Jews for the first time at one of his intimate dinner parties.
Post obit also states that, He cited the case of Ceausescu, for whom he won
When he represented Saddam Hussein, according to Foreign Agents
Registration records von Kloberg himself filed with the Department of Justice,
he billed the since-deposed Iraqi dictator for several op-eds in the New York
Times and other newspapers that advocated a
course, that s a small consolation for the Kurds who were gassed to death by
Hussein, especially since von Kloberg was actually the one entrusted with the
task of convincing the
More likely than his own sympathetic rendition of events, von Kloberg was probably nothing more than a high-class huckster up to the very end, able to take even his own morally dubious career and give it a gentle sheen of occasional good works.
In the Post obit, he compared his job to that of a public defender someone has to stick up for the criminals, he would say. He said there had been greater challenges and rewards in his career than had he crusaded for a good cause, said the Post.
One wonders if he is still saying that.
Peter Krupa is the editor of the Peace & Conflict Monitor